Getting Started on a Path to Fitness
Starting an exercise program is a great idea. But boredom, busy schedules and other issues can sometimes make it difficult to stay motivated. At age 33, Pam R. can look back on a history of fitness activities, usually walking—sometimes on the treadmill at the gym—or using her exercise ball at home.
But time caught up with her. A full-time job, plus cooking, caring for her home and helping her husband, who’s working toward his college degree, pretty much fills her days.
Before you know it, she says, “The day is gone and I need to go to sleep.”
So, Pam’s resolve to maintain a regular fitness routine is on the back burner. “Life invades, and I forget to take care of myself,” she admits. “I’ve been struggling to get back on track.”
That’s just the kind of thing that happens to a lot of people, says Cedric Bryant, PhD, Chief Science Officer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Even so, if you’re struggling to stay motivated—for whatever reason—you can do something about it, he says.
Get time on your side: “One of the biggest contributors to exercise lapses is perceived lack of time,” Dr. Bryant says. “Individuals have the best intentions…until time pressures start to squeeze in and exercise is squeezed out. That’s particularly true for those who have not been regular exercisers.”
To help overcome the time barrier, Dr. Bryant suggests scheduling exercise just as you do other appointments. It may also help to do your exercise early in the morning so you get it in before other things start to vie for your attention, he says.
Battle boredom: If your routine is getting stale, try shaking it up.
Pam says a different activity, such as swimming, might be just the thing to get her started again.
That’s an idea that could help, according to Dr. Bryant. “Many times people will go with programs that aren’t fun or engaging, and the odds of sticking to something like that—no matter how disciplined you are—aren’t going to be very high,” he says. “I’d encourage them to experiment with different activities.”
Follow the continuation of Pam’s story in the April issue of Santa Clarita Magazine. To learn more, visit www.henrymayofitness.org or call 661-200-2348.
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